Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mina and Miracles.

Before I even attempt to write this post, if you are a mother -- go and wrap your arms around your child(ren). 
Hug them. 
Kiss them. 
Tell them how much you love them. 
Thank God for their life.

I do not want to over-dramatize the series of events that took place starting Thursday evening, but I want to have it accurately recorded. Because it needs to be preserved as a reminder of God's love, mercy, protection, and miraculous hand. 

My sister and her sweet baby boy drove to our house Thursday morning to spend the day and night with us.
The day was perfect. We swam, celebrated Melanie's upcoming birthday with some cupcakes by the pool, and decided to just hang-out in our screened-in porch while we waited for Daniel to get home with a pizza for dinner.

In a split second, in the middle of talking and playing, Mina lost her balance and leaned up against the screen. It was loose and not able to support her. She fell 10 feet backwards onto the asphalt driveway below. 

The gut-wrenching irony of it all was that the porch was supposed to have been re-screened with railings added earlier the week before. The contractor got behind on another job, so it was pushed back to a later date. 

I cannot begin to describe the absolute horror of thinking your child has died.
I'm not sure I'll ever get over the trauma of that emotion.

This is where the nightmare begins and where God started pouring out miracles.

Daniel got home a minute after the accident -- Melanie was on the phone telling him what happened while I held Mina.
She said (through wailing and moaning) that her head hurt.
Minutes later she couldn't remember anything.
Not what hurt, not what happened, not even her name.
We rushed her to the hospital while my sister stayed home with Aubrey.
The ER was empty, which meant we were taken back immediately.
Mina was fighting off the nurses and doctors trying to assess her status, when all of a sudden she reached up to the side of her head saying, "Owwww!!" That's when I noticed blood coming out of her left ear.

The nurses and doctors went into high-gear. 
Neck brace, sedation medication, and immediate scans of her head and spine.

I was terrified before, now I was completely panic-stricken.

While she was being scanned, Daniel and I wrapped our arms around each other and prayed through sobs.
Once the scans were done, I went with Mina while Daniel stayed back to see the images.
It was so quiet in the room.
After praying over her, I started singing any song I could think of with the name "Jesus" in it. 

Daniel came back into the room. 

I wanted him to say everything was going to be okay.
But by the look on his face, I knew he couldn't do that.
As he started saying things like large skull fracture and contusion, I felt the room start spinning.
Another doctor walked in and asked us which Children's Hospital we preferred: Louisville or Nashville. 
The helicopter was going to be here 4 minutes.
In the meantime Mina started to come out of sedation.
The nurses tried to get an IV in her tiny veins 5 times before they were successful.
They gave her morphine (pain), zophran (prevent nausea/vomiting), and anti-seizure medication.
She fell asleep as the air med team came in, and I was informed that I wouldn't be allowed to go with her.
I tried everything I could think of to convince them to let me on that helicopter.

They let me ride the elevator all the way to the rooftop, and the last thing the air med lady said to me was, "I will be praying for her the entire flight."
The elevator doors closed, and I collapsed on the floor crying and begging God to protect her.

During all this time, Melanie had been packing all our bags and Daniel had driven home to pick up Aubrey and all our things. 
Someone (I think it was a nurse) walked me out of the hospital where I saw our car waiting. 
I looked in the back and saw Mina's carseat. 
I lost it.

We prayed the entire way to Nashville.

Finally, after the longest drive of our lives, I had my sweet girl in my arms where she went from screaming to fast asleep within seconds.

They told us this night was going to be critical.
Words like bleeding on the brain, breathing tubes, seizures, facial paralysis were being said as possibilities I needed to be ready for. I kept her in my arms all night and prayed and whispered words of love and encouragement. 

This entire time, countless people were praying.
Angels and prayer warriors fighting for her while she rested.

Early the next morning, we were transferred to another room in PICU. Mina was already showing positive signs of improvement. She had to get neuro evaluations every hour for 24 hours. She was so tired, and kept getting woken up by doctors and nurses.

By early morning she was begging for her milk and saying she was hungry.
She hadn't been allowed anything to eat or drink since they weren't sure yet if they were going to have to rush her to surgery.
She was sitting up, talking, singing, and playing with her new toys.
All the doctors and nurses were blown away.
We were thanking God.

Instead of a second day in the PICU, all the teams: neuro surgery, ENT, trauma could not find a reason to keep her there. She passed a speech evaluation with flying colors, and we were told she would be moved to a step-down room that evening.

In the meantime, one of my dearest friends  from childhood (who now lives in Nashville) had just had a baby two days before. She delivered her precious baby boy at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. Her sister (who saw my urgent post for prayer on Instagram) told her about Mina at the same time Mina was being helicoptered there. A short while later, my friend heard the helicopter -- she started praying for Mina that very minute. How amazing is that?! Our sweet girl had someone praying for her everywhere she was even when we could not be with her. Praise God!!!

The prayers kept coming, and Mina continued to recover...

The next morning she continued to improve.
She even walked down the hall with Daniel and Aubrey to get some ice cream -- singing the whole way!

It wasn't too much later, and we received her discharge papers!
We were sent home with prescription ear drops, follow-up appointment dates, and things to be on the look-out for over the next couple of weeks. In true Mina fashion, she kept one balloon (out of the MANY she received) and had the nurse pass the rest out to all the other children on her hall. Seriously -- this girl's heart is made of pure gold.

We thank God for His amazing, miraculous work on Mina's behalf.
We are beyond grateful for all your prayers.
To my sister, my parents, and Daniel's mom who all dropped everything to be our rock during the darkest moments of our lives -- we could not have gotten through this without them. They made endless phone calls, texts, and updates to friends and family. Walked the hospital over a hundred times with Aubrey and took the best care of her while we tended to Mina.

We are all still healing from the trauma of it all.
Just the other day, I was cleaning out our hospital bags in the laundry room when I pulled out the dress Mina was wearing the day of the accident. I wasn't there at Vanderbilt when they cut it off her to avoid further injury once she arrived. 
It's the only dress she has with a ladybug on it.
I stared at the jagged scissor cuts, the blood stain on the strap from her ear. 
It was too much for me to take in...I bawled right there in the pile of dirty clothes.

Also, I feel the need to mention a few other things.
This is a picture of the porch to give you an idea of its height:

The day of the accident I wasn't sure I could ever go back to our house.
Then I decided if I did go back, I wanted to have that porch burned to the ground.
It wasn't too long after that thought I could feel God speaking to my heart. 
He was the Ruler of our home, not the horror of that accident.
If He can restore all of mankind, He can certainly restore our home and our hearts.

Daniel had our contractor send guys over IMMEDIATELY to re-screen and add safety railings to the porch. 

While this whole nightmare will forever be etched in our minds, we will focus on rejoicing and praising Him.
Fear no longer rules in this space, GOD does.

Please continue to keep our sweet Mina in your prayers.
We are unsure if her hearing is 100 percent in her left ear, and we are still keeping things very low key around here for awhile. We give thanks for her life. 
Her precious, miraculous life.


This song has been in my head since we left Nashville...

Let everything that,
Everything that
Everything that
Has breath praise the Lord

Let everything that,

Everything that
Everything that
Has breath praise the Lord

Praise You in the morning

Praise You in the evening
Praise You when I'm young
And when I'm old

Praise You when I'm laughing

Praise You when I'm grieving
Praise You every
Season of the soul

If we could see

How much You're worth
Your power,
Your might,
Your endless love
Then surely we would
Never cease to praise

Praise You in the heavens

Join with the angels
Praising You forever and a day

Praise You on the earth now

Joining with creation
Calling all the nations to Your praise

If they could see

How much You're worth
Your power,
Your might,
Your endless love
Then surely they would
Never cease to praise

I will worship,

I will worship
I will worship
You with every breath

I will worship,

I will worship
I will worship
You with every breath


  1. There are not enough words to communicate how thankful to God I am that she is ok. You all have been on my heart constantly and every time I think back to that horrible moment I pray for God's healing to continue to restore Mina's body. CANNOT wait to get my hands on you all this weekend to celebrate, truly celebrate Miss Mina!

  2. Praise God for Mina and her healing!!! It is amazing how God crafted your journey that day: from Melanie being there, to Daniel pulling into the drive-way, to your sweet friend in Nashville. God is so good, even in the middle of turmoil! Our church in Bowling Green has been praying for you guys, from the minute we found out! Love you guys!!! Continued prayer!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Liz. Those prayers mean so much to us!

  3. Ashley, I am so thankful for technology that allowed me to pray for you all through your night half a world away. Thankful for His protection, provision, and your trust in Him. What a gift to know that He walks with us in all things, and that He is the healer of heads and hearts. Praying that His spirit would fill your home in these days, and that His peace would wrap you in rest. Love to your sweet family!

    1. Thank you so very much for your prayers. I could feel them that night. I knew you all were awake, and it brought me such comfort knowing she was being lifted up in her homeland. Xie Xie from the bottom of our hearts!

  4. Thanks for sharing this, Ashley, for taking time to put into words feelings and events that really are beyond words. It is a joy to share in your darkest hours and in your miracle hours as well. So grateful for your family, and especially for Mina today.

    1. Thank you, Cara. The prayer you texted me on our way to Vanderbilt helped give me such a peace. I prayed it out-loud in the car and also several times in the hospital. You are a blessing, dear friend.

  5. Ashley, I was seriously sick for you just reading this. I cannot imagine how horrible this must have been. Praising God for His protection and healing over your sweet Mina. We will be keeping her in our prayers over the next few weeks as she continues to heal.

    1. Thank you, Melissa! We greatly appreciate your prayers! And a BIG congratulations to your sweet family of FIVE! Jovi is absolutely precious!

  6. Oh Ashley. What a complete nightmare this was for all of you. The moment I saw that something had happened I immediately scrolled down on my phone to find out what it was. Then, I immediately started praying for sweet, precious Mina. I got on my email and sent all of my sweet small group ladies the information and they started immediately praying as well. Then I emailed your friends here at McGriff and those that have left. After finding out that Mina was improving and then was free to go home I was praying prayers of thanksgiving. GOD is SO, SO GOOD!!! People think that there is no way she should be better that soon..........But God. People think that there should be "something" wrong with her now..............But God. People think "wow, she was lucky" luck............But God. How blessed we are to have a God that loves us and hears our prayers. How blessed we are to have a God that protects, heals, strengths and holds us up when we can't stand on our own. I am so grateful to God for Mina's life and for his protection over her, you and your family. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow. Love you!!
    Hugs from the Ham..............

    1. I am so thankful for you and for your heart. Thank you for sending out prayer requests for our sweetie. God was so gracious to us. And yes -- Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow! Love you dear friend!!

  7. Wow! God is good! I was sick when I read your plea for prayers on Instagram. I prayed all night and through the next few days so often. Praising the Lord with you for the miracles and answers to prayers over Mina's little life. She's adorable and seems to be the sweetest girl! I'll continue to pray for Mina and you all as you recover. BTW, the new porch and rug looks awesome!!!

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you Sarah. I praise God for moving you to pray on behalf our precious Mina. I cannot tell you what it means to us.

  8. Ash-a-ley, I couldn't believe what I was hearing as Lacey told me about the accident with Mina. I read her story and all I can think of is how much you and Lacey have grown into two of the most amazingly prayerful people with GOD at the center of your everything! What a blessing you and your family are to people like me. You inspire me to be a better person! We love you and your sweet family and are thinking of you as Mina contiues to recover!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words. I feel like your second daughter and am so, so thankful for your family. Love and miss you to pieces!

  9. Holy. Ive come to read this twice now and Ive balled each time. I so wish we were closer. Thank you for being brave to share yalls story and allow all of us to enter in to it with you and pray and see God perform miracle after miracle! Praise God He reminded you that He is the ruler of your home! I loved that part! Ohhhhhh man.. just I love you guys! I wish I could come hug all of you!